Earlier this month we reported that WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (20-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] would be defending his belt in March against Japanese fighter Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁].
That bout was officially announced in Thailand earlier this week, in a press conference held by Knockout's tea.
Today Tanaka and his team held a press conference of their own, speaking about the contest and their preparation plans.
At today's press conference it was revealed that talks for this bout had been underway since December, but had been very protracted and were only completed earlier this month. Despite that Tanaka seemed confident, and spoke about becoming the first Japanese man to travel to Thailand and bring back a world title. So far Japanese fighters have gone 0-24-1 in world title bouts in the country, and Tanaka was quite brash in saying "I will change history by winning" [Translated].
In regards to the champion, Tanaka "I know that he has won in all 20 races so far, but it is not like a monster. I think that I will engage with myself." [Translated] and as for the type of fight he's expecting, it's going to be rough "I think we'll be butting, elbowing, and low blows. It's fine." [Translated]
The plan is to get over to Thailand early, arriving on February 26th, and finishing preparations for the fight in Bangkok, before heading to Nakhon Sawan for the fight. Tanaka appears to be fully aware of the conditions of bouts in Thailand, the drawn out introduction ceremony and the harsh fighting conditions of being out in the sweltering heat. Being aware of them and coping with them are two very different things, but things that Tanaka will be hoping his extra days in Thailand will help with.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Just moments ago a press event in Japan took place to announce that the worst kept secret in boxing, was now official!
The event saw Japanese mega star Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥], the unified the IBF and WBA Bantamweight champion, announce his much talked about April 25th bout with WBO champion John Riel Casimero (29-4, 20). Confirming that the venue for the event would be the Mandalay Bay.
At today's event Inoue stated "It's very exciting and I want to fight soon. It's meaningful for a three-group match. First in Las Vegas I want to clear it safely and move on to the next. " [Translated] He also went on to add "Las Vegas is the home of boxing and I'm proud to be the main event," [Translated]
He also went on to explain that he wanted to unify all 4 titles after this, and that this bout was a stepping stone to that.
In regards to Casimero, we saw Inoue explain " He is a wild fighter with the fierceness of a Filipino. He has a dangerous hard punch. I want to fight while paying attention to such a place." [Translated]
One interesting quote from Inoue regarded his reign at Super Flyweight, explaining "I originally wanted to play a unified match for Super Fly. I want to motivate such a matchmaking." [Translated] This wasn't particularly a surprise, given that Inoue called out other Super Flyweight champions, but it's nice to see his desire to unify has continued here and it's been a major focus of his signing with Top Rank.
From what we under-stand the hope was for Casimero to attend the event, but was unable to make it over due to visa issues,
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
On Saturday in Jalisco we'll see Japanese female fighter Chaoz Minowa (6-2, 5) [チャオズ箕輪] return to the ring to challenge WBC "interim" female Light Flyweight champion Kenia Enriquez (22-1, 9).
Yesterday the two fighters went face to face, for the first time, at a press conference to talk about the bout .
Minowa stated she was honoured to be fighting in Mexico and would do her best due to the opportunity she's been given. She did however sound complimentary of Enriquez, suggesting she had a strong punch.
This is Minowa's third shot at a world title and she enters the bout having been away from the ring for well over a year, following a loss in Mexico to Ibeth Zamora Silva. As for the champion this will be her 4th defense of the interim title, that she won way back in July 2017.
We suspect, sooner or later, the winner of this bout will pursue the full WBC title, which is currently around the waist of Yesenia Gomez, who actually won the belt in September 2018 when she beat Esmeraldo Moreno.
The weigh in for this bout will take place later today and Mexico Azteca will air the bout on Saturday.
Related - Chaoz Minowa returns to Mexico to face WBC interim queen Kenia Enqiruez!
Earlier today in Tokyo there was a press conference held by WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔] following his mandatory defense yesterday against Jeyvier Cintron (11-1-0-1, 5).
The champion, Japan's only 4-weight male world champion, sported sunglasses through out to hide up the significant bruising and swelling around his eyes, but seemed very happy about the bout and result.
Having become a fixture on the boxing calendar the end of year shows are one of the many things boxing fans look forward to. Ioka stated at the press conference that he wants to be on one again this year, if possible. He explained he didn't want to be disappointed, as he was a year earlier following a close loss to Donnie Neites.
Ioka spoke highly of Cintron at the press conference, but followed the orders from his team and made it clear it was a team victory. Before adding that 2019 was one of the strongest years of his career.
In regards to the facial damage Ioka did explain that it's best to finish a fight without getting punched, but that he he was up against one of the best opponents in the world and had to press because he didn't want to lose his title.
The plan for 2020 is to fight twice. Ioka dropped the name of WBC Super Flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada as the man he wanted to face the most, and this is a possibility for the year, though would obviously take Ioka's team working with Estrada's team to reach a deal. That may be easier said than done in this current world of boxing.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Yesterday WBO Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成] made his third defense as he stopped Chinese challenger Wulan Tuolehazi (13-4-1, 6) [乌兰] in one of the most impressive performances of Tanaka's career so far. It was as close to punch perfect as it could have been, and whilst the challenger wasn't really up to much Tanaka did what a fighter is supposed to do in a mismatch. Take his opponent out, and not take anything in return.
Today Tanaka attended a press conference and spoke about the fight, and his future.
The talented 3-weight world champion spoke about there being good things and bad things to take from the win yesterday. He was happy about the cheering groups that were there for him, and his body shots and uppercuts, but seemed unhappy about his success with the jab.
Tanaka's promoter Kiyoshi Hatanaka, himself a former world champion, spoke about the future and explained that the hope was either to unify at Flyweight or win a Super Flyweight title. None of which was a particular surprise.
Before the press conference came to an end Tanaka revealed that he wanted to fight with strong opponents in 2020. It's likely he'll have to make a mandatory defense at some point in the year, but if he can land a unification bout then that would be a great highlight for the year. Another potential highlight would a much talked about potential show down with WBO Super Flyweight world champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔], who also picked up a win yesterday to defend his title.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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